Ankara, Ottoman house in Beypazarı

The historic town of Beypazarı, candidate for World Heritage

Located on the outskirts of the Turkish capital, Beypazarı has an ancient history dating back to Hittites and Romans, and is famous for its well-preserved Ottoman houses and rich gastronomy.

The historic municipality of Beypazarı, located in the Ankara province about a hundred kilometres from the Turkish capital, has been included by UNESCO in the tentative list of candidates for World Heritage thanks to its millennial history.

Beypazarı has a history that dates back thousands of years in time, and since the times of the Roman Empire it has been a prosperous city thanks to its strategic location on an important trade route that connected the Balkans with the Caucasus and Iran through the ancient Constantinople. Besides Romans, Hittites, Phrygians, Byzantines, Seljuk and Ottomans have also gone by here.

Today it is a famous tourist destination in Turkey known mainly for its excellently preserved Ottoman houses two or three stories high, as well as for its rich local cuisine, including the Beypazarı kurusu, a type of crusty bread made of wheat flour and butter that is taken mainly during breakfast or with tea.

Here is buried the grandfather of Osman, the founder of the Ottoman Empire

Its famed cuisine also includes tarhana -a mixture of wheat flour and fermented yogurt- or erişte, a traditional pasta alla turca in the form of noodles; in addition, dolma – stuffed grape leaves – and its high quality natural mineral water are also famous. Beypazarı carrots are also well-known: in fact, no less than 60% of all carrots in Turkey are produced in the fertile soil of Beypazarı.

Conquered to the Byzantines by the Seljuk Turks in the 12th century, many Oguz Turks settled in this area, and Gazi Gündüzalp, the grandfather of Osman I (the founder of the Ottoman State), is said to be buried in the nearby town of Hırkatepe.

In addition to Beypazarı, other places in Turkey that have become part of the UNESCO list of World Heritage candidates are the millennial castle of Zerzevan in Diyarbakır, the archaeological site of Karatepe-Aslantaş in Osmaniye, Koramaz Valley in the Turkish province of Kayseri, or the historic Kemeraltı bazaar in the city of İzmir.